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A Look Inside the Best College Dorms

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More and more colleges and universities are starting to refer to dorms as “residence halls” in hopes of sounding more home-y and less prison-like, but most of the general public still calls them dorms. Whatever you want to call them, they still a convenient place for students to live while attending college.

If you’re a high school student who is starting to tour college campuses, your parents have probably pointed out that dorm rooms have come a long way since they were in school. The mini-fridge and personal coffee maker may still be popular staples, but some of today’s residence halls offer impressive amenities like rec centers, theater rooms, and swimming pools.

Cool College Dorms

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best dorms in the country. Take a peek—maybe you’ll find your dream school!

Bennington College | Bennington, VT

Bennington College | Bennington, VT Bennington College students live in houses with as many as 45 housemates as opposed to traditional college dorms. The co-ed houses are of various architectural styles and floor plans, offering kitchens, common areas where students can relax and hold weekly meetings, and co-ed bathrooms for every four to five rooms. Many of the houses include features such as fireplaces, patios, courtyards, and more.

Bennington College Colonials

MIT | Cambridge, MA

Simmons Hall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is known as “Sponge” thanks to its exterior which contains over 5,500 2-foot square windows. The hall has won multiple architecture awards and furnishings for the rooms are custom-designed. It has even been the subject of books and museum exhibits.

MIT Simmons Hall

University of Virginia | Charlottesville, VA

The University of Virginia’s Lawn is home to 54 specially-selected seniors. The building was designed by Thomas Jefferson himself. Although air conditioning, kitchens, or computer lounges are found at this prestigious dorm, all rooms include a rocking chair and sink in addition to the standard bed and desk, and most have working fireplaces.

University of Virginia Lawn

Bryn Mawr College | Bryn Mawr, PA

Bryn Mawr College’s residence life department oversees 14 dorms, houses, and apartments including Rhoads Hall, which is essentially a castle. The North and South wings are connected by a common entryway and living room. Multi-million dollar renovations took place in the last 1990s and Rhoads features state-of-the-art facilities for students.

Bryn Mawr College Rhoads Hall

Brandeis University | Waltham, MA

Brandeis University has its own castle, in the form of a dorm known as Usen Castle. It became part of the university in 1946 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Affectionately nicknamed The Castle, Usen offers breathtaking views of the Boston skyline as well as a coffeehouse and late-night snack bar, causing most students to forget it’s the oldest building on campus.

Brandeis University Usen Castle

Rutgers University | Picastaway, NJ

Rutgers University’s Rockoff Hall is a modern apartment building offering 2- and 3-bedroom units for 4 and 3 students, respectively. This urban paradise for college juniors and seniors includes a Coldstone Creamery and a 7-11 convenience store as well as a fully-equipped gym—maybe to burn off the ice cream and snacks?

Rutgers University Rockoff Apartments

To learn more about advancements in college dorms, be sure to read Colleges Going Gender-Neutral with Co-Ed Dorms right here at the StateUniversity.com blog.

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Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.


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